Sunday, September 9, 2012

kids' little DIY 3D art piece using clay

My neighbour's kids had art lesson using clay and created very beautiful 3D art pieces. I decided to conduct my own lessons for my kids. I had no clue what type of clay to use but decided to pop by Rivervale Mall to check out Diaso. It sold some paper clays and coloured ones. I wasn't sure of the quality as the clays looked rather dry. Our finds ended at another shop on the same level. The packaging looked more air tight and clay felt softer when pressed. Also the clay pack looked bigger and selling at S$2.50 per pack. Didn't notice the weight though. Also bought a box of acrylic paint for S$9.50 a box. As I write about this, out of curiosity, did some search and the difference in Clays can be found from http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/clay/a/playclay.htm

Materials we used :-
Paper Clay - 1 Packet (don't have weight but measured about 16cm (L) x cm (B) x 3-4cm (D)
Acrylic Paints
Glitter Glue
Cardboard or wooden planks - 2 pieces. My cardboards are taken from some packaging, not bought. Kaylene's Cardboard measured 28cm (L) x 22.5cm (B). Shiranne's Cardboard measured 25cm (L) x 23 cm (B)
Small bowl of water and brush - If clay gets to dry, can apply for sticking or smoothing out some little cracks
Hot Glue/Super Glue - Handy as we did have a couple pieces not stuck to the base securely after the clay dried.
Hair Dryer - if kids too eager to paint and can't wait for clay to dry out  

note -  have to spread the clay onto the board surface using the thumb or base of palm by pressing down clay. Can be tiring for kids. Kaylene managed 60% of the base on her own. Shiranne only managed maybe 10% of the base on her own. Not sure if it is due to nature of clay. This projec takes time so good to spread out the works. We spread out to 3 days.

I made the kids come up with their own theme.

Kaylene wanted her theme to be Rapunzel so that she can braid the hair using clay




Shirannes wanted her theme to be birthday cake

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lunch at The Coastal Settlement

We got to know 'The Coastal Settlement' from yesterday's Channel 8《我爱公开!》Share Something . The restaurant looked interesting so we decided to check it out. We were greeted with Outdoor dining layout first with some kiddy play things. Not sure whether they are from old time kids amusement world?! As we were early, around 11 plus, there weren't any crowd outdoors.

We moved indoors to catch the attention of the servers. As I only have an Iphone to take pics, I didn't manage to take any pics of the interior. More pics on their website though. I liked the furnishing as they have different sets of dining tables/chairs, some high, some low, some couches, some round, some squarish etc There are even vintages displayed. Unfortunately, indoor sittings were either occupied or reserved already. This is a popular place!


 My kids were happy there were things to play with. The elder mainly played with this log, to do her balancing act, and the swing. The younger preferred the cute stuff.


 Kaylene especially loved this swing.


We got a seat outside and didn't mind the alfresco as the weather was good. We were seated originally as this table with a shelter above us but we decided to move to another where there was fan oscillating.

 The restaurants had nostalgic biscuits prepared for diners! Self service on this.


 I liked this outdoor table/chair set but decided not to move since we were all seated comfortably.

 from left : Kid's Fanta which came with kid's meal (my kids didn't drink as it was gassy). Portabella Fries (crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside - yummy and my favourarite - eat while warm is the best) , Kid's Bolognese pasta (not bad as my picky kids did slurped them up)

 Five Cheese pizza. Good too and topped with some healthy greens!

Weekend Roast -  the truffle fries came with a little red bowl, cute! My kids loved the crispy fries. Not sure they didn't mind the truffle flavour or couldn't detect. Roasted chicken was great too! 

 A final walk round the casual dining

 3 wheeled truck!


I Spy a snail on a branch! Now we know snails are not restricted to ground only

 There are fitness spots near the restaurant. Kaylene and dad couldn't resist the climb.

 as well as swinging on the hanging vines and shouting like Tarzan! 





Friday, September 7, 2012

Busy mum's activities for kids

Sometimes thinking of things to keep my kids occupied can be tiring. Though they can play on their own, I will prefer to engage them in different activities. At times I'll google to see what other parents do, at times I'll think of activities on the spot. I've gained from reading other bloggers and hope I can share my own here. Will try to update from recent ones that I did from time to time. Below will be my first batch.

#1

Get them some wall stickers and find a corner for them to DIY. Though there is a complete pic to follow, the kids probably would still need supervision, provided you do not mind the outcome.  It's not expensive. I bought 1 set for $5 sometime back and I've did a post here and here. Depending on the design, the one below took about 15 min. Others may take longer and may be more challenging.



Our new thinking corner

#2
Find a friendly pet for the day. We made a friend who visited. The kids played with a cute orange with black spots ladybug for about 30 min or so. Got to let go if not for lunch. Kaylene let the ladybug walked on her fingers and even wanted to find food for it. This ladybug looked harmless hence it being poisonous didn't cross my mind. We have even gotten lizard and grasshopper as our house pet who drop by for short visits.

#3
We saw an advertisement with the person doing a jump shot. I was inspired that my kids probably would like to see themselves in a jump shot. I fished out my iphone, which i knew would take blurry jumpshots, but decided to still give it a try. My kids simply enjoyed jumping for that perfect jump shot. They laughed at the way they were in the pictures. This fun lasted as long as it could as i left them to take jump shots for each other. It was great listening to their laughter and giggles! After a few days later, they still reminisce their jump shot pics and will do them again with each other.




#4
Simple symmetrical paper craft. Fold paper half or quarters and cut shapes which are symmetrical or the same. Pasted them to form pictures such as below. Did the following with my kids to keep them away from the TV.



#5
I bought a set of Helicopter Balloon from SKP shop at telok ayer. They had so so much fun seeing it floating up to the ceiling and then falling down. I would give this toy four half stars out of five for entertainment, if not for the blade which made me worried a little as they can be a little dangerous on the eyes. I told my kids to keep the blades away from the face when letting go.  It cost $1.90 each set. The instructions from the packing didn't mention a balloon pump is required but we all found it difficult to inflate it by blowing. Only after umpteen times of inflating that manual blowing is possible due to more elasticity.


Kaylene fixing the helicopter blades on after inflating the balloon.


It went all the way up to our ceiling as balloon deflates, with the air from balloon propelling the blade. There might be some noise nuisance as the toy does make a sound when air is coming out of the balloon. Try them outdoor, should go pretty high. I've yet to try though.

This game can be quite educational as you can explain how the mechanism works like what makes the blade spins, why it makes sound as well as spelling on words like 'helicopter' and 'balloon'.
However, each balloon (there were 2 in a pack) didn't last more than 3 days as it burst due to numerous usage.


I've have been procrastinating to check whether my small balloons at home fit the toy. Will probably do so tomorrow, if there weren't other more interesting things to do..

Anybody has interesting ideas do drop me a note. :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

kaylene rides with no training wheels after reviving the bicycle!

We almost wanted to throw away Kaylene's Aleoco brand 14inch bicycle as it's so slow and not moving fast enough for Kaylene to go without the training wheels. This almost killed kaylene's interest to cycle without her training wheels.

Got to know my neighbour's dad, a retiree who worked in a bicycle shop before, and got his help to revive the bicycle.

The helpful uncle managed to fix up Kaylene's bicycle and also another 2nd hand bicycle which my MIL picked up from somewhere. It was meant for Shiranne but it was difficult to ride too. Even the bicycle shop which we sent in attempt to fix it didn't want to fix it. (I think the bicycle shop deliberately want us to buy a new bicycle as he said no point fixing). I was so glad that the uncle gave the 2 bicycles their second lives. He changed the chain, replaced damaged internal tyre lining, repainted rusted parts. I don't even mind paying uncle much more than the cost of the parts used for the effort put in.  All are happy in the end! Not forgetting, we should reuse as much as possible for a sustainable society!

Kaylene couldn't get the hang on how to balance on the bike initially. She kept tilting and leaning to one side. Me and my hubby took turns to hold on to her the 1st couple days of her learning but gave up because she seemed to depend to much on our holding. As i knew how to cycle, I tried to let her realise that if she felt that the bike is leaning one side, she had to turn the front wheel gently to the same side, which can keep the bike from leaning. She tried and realised she can control her balance better. Slowly, she got the hang of it! :)

Kaylene at her 4th attempt the day video was taken below. Not bad ! Shiranne happily ride her re-new bike!